Joaquin Nuñez Hidalgo
Joaquin Nuñez Hidalgo was born and raised in Cuba. His early inspiration was his musically gifted father Porfirio Nuñez, a former singer/guitarist with one of the oldest Cuban orchestras “Brisas de Nipe”. Self-taught musician and now Master Rumbero, Joaquín Núñez Hidalgo began playing percussion instruments at the age of five. As a professional artist, Joaquín has had a successful music career in Cuba. Performing in numerous musical events and festivals, he has shared the stage with most of Cuba’s elite musicians. Eventually settling in Toronto in 1999, Joaquín quickly became immersed in the local music scene performing as a drummer and percussionist with top Canadian based artists (Jane Bunnett, Bill King, Njacko Backo, Eddie Bullen, Hilario Durán, Canadian Tenors, Luis Mario Ochoa), performing in many Jazz festivals (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Beaches Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax Jazz Festival among others) across the country as well as internationally.
Joaquín has been a percussionist on Juno and Grammy nominated CD compilations, Juno nominated – Hilario Durán Trio “Motion” (2010); and Grammy nominated and Juno Award Winner 2007 – Hilario Big Band CD “From the Heart” featuring Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez & Paquito D’Rivera (2007).
Joaquín co-produced “Havana Nights” (2010) in collaboration with pianist, Eddie Bullen; also, he was the producer of Cubanos’ debut CD “Holguin” (2002); and he performed as percussionist for the North American premier of the soundtrack to the musical theatre production of “Dirty Dancing” (2008).
Exploded onto the world music scene as a co-producer of the CD with famed Euro-performer Zucchero “La Sesión Cubana”, doing the record’s release “2013-2014 World Tour Zucchero and La Sesión Cubana.” The lyrical CD “Keep Them Close” with Kalabash and the recent CD “ Home To You” with the newly Really Big World, were produced by Mr. Hidalgo and most notably awarded a Juno (2014) for his work with David Buchbinder and Odessa Havana with the CD “Walk to the Sea.” Mr. Hidalgo presents an extraordinary collection of musicians providing an exciting experience in art and entertainment. He is now an accomplished recording artist, performer, musician, and exceptional teacher and facilitator. As founder of the Rumba Squad Program at one of the most prestigious Educational Institutions in the country, St. Michael College School since 2011, Head of the Percussion Drumming Department of Sistema Toronto Program since 2012, Lead Instructor of the Toronto District School Board Cuban-Brazilian Drumming Program and others ; Joaquin has proven to be a force in our music industry, both for students and the industry alike.
Joaquin is a regular guest performer as soloist (Workshops, Master Classes) or with his Projects Son Cuba or Rumberos Academy, in the Annual and well known Muhtadi International Drummer Festival, Afro Fest and other Drum Festivals around the Country. He has served as Producer and Artistic Director for the following events: Scarborough Town Jazz Festival, “Havana Toronto Night Show” at Distillery Jazz Festival 2005; Rumberos Afro-Cuban All Stars Section; Lula Lounge 2003-2004; Cuban Drumming Retreat from 2006 to 2017.